Category Archives: Preparing to Travel

The Top 3 Best Jobs in Australia 

bar tender

The best jobs in Australia are the jobs you know well, and may even do back home, but also jobs you haven’t tried yet. Part of the adventure of travelling and working as you go is getting out of your comfort zone, and trying something you’d never normally get the chance to try back home.

So if you’re in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa and need some inspiration, we reckon these jobs are the ones to go for, both in terms of the money you’ll earn and the (relative) ease with which you can get them.

Here Are The Top 3 Best Jobs in Australia For Everyone

Good with people and know a mai tai from a mojito? Be a bartender

Australia has a lively drinking culture and if you’re an experienced bar tender it’s easy to find work in the bars of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and beyond. This is one of the best jobs in Australia for meeting people, plus the salary you get for this kind of work blows fruit picking out of the park. If you can land a job in one of the more reputable bars in Sydney or Melbourne the money will match the plush surroundings. 

A lot of travellers prefer to work in backpacker bars mostly due to the relaxed atmosphere, chance ot meet fellow travellers and less requirements in terms of experience. You can also get work in more rural areas in local pubs which opens up the chance to speak to locals and gain an insight into rural life. This one’s a winner if you have the right experience.

best jobs in australia, bartender
bartender fixing up a cocktail

After that second year working holiday visa? It’s fruit picking for you

Fruit picking, or just general “regional work” often gets a bad rap and is rarely considered to be one of the best jobs in Australia. It’s definitely hard and is usually paid according to the amount of fruit or vegetables harvested rather than with an hourly salary. But the reason travellers are eager to find regional work is to complete the golden 88 day regional work requirement in order to gain a second year working holiday visa.

Completing this requirement and getting a second year in Australia doesn’t only mean more adventures but a much better chance of getting well paid office work (more on that below). It also squarely fits the bill as a job which you are unlikely to do back home, or ever again. There is a shared sense of camaraderie on most farms and the mates you make picking pears could be some of the closest you’ll have during your time in Australia. Fruit picking can be hard work, but the benefits out weigh the negatives.

fruit pickers in australia
fruit picker

Want job security, great money and will be around for a while? Office work is your best bet

Working in an office may sound dull but when it comes salary, working conditions and the potential for longer term employment, office work is hard to beat. Positions can be hard to find for travellers but having a two year working holiday visa definitely helps. There is good job security with this one and higher wages means more money to spend travelling and adventuring when you do decide to move on. Working in an office is one of the best jobs in Australia for job security, good wages and the chance to further your career!

working in the office
office work

If you are backpacking Australia then definitely check out these best backpacker jobs in Australia too!

Written by Kate Moxhay at

Australian Postal Address

Having access to an Australian postal address can be really useful in the first month whilst establishing yourself down under. Your Medicare, Tax File Number and Bank will all require an Australian address at the application stages. You have a few options. Possibly the easiest way to access an address is if you have relatives or friends living in Australia. You can then have documents sent to you knowing that they will be secure. Alternatively many hostels are used to dealing with travellers who have just arrived into the country. Ask your hostel if you can use their address before registering for any of your documents. Even better is to ask your hostel prior to arrival and that way you can be assured set up should be fairly simple.

Staying connected to the world! Your Mobile phone!

No doubt you will own a mobile phone, not many people can get by without that little bit of technology in their pocket! Just a few recommendations and things to think about:

  • Your existing contract in your home location – speak with your mobile network provider well in advance of your leave date and work out what the best possible options are for you in terms of maintaining or in most cases ending your contract.
  • Unlocking your mobile – make sure you also speak with your mobile provider about unlocking your phone to any network. You want to save money where possible and if you have a decent handset it seems silly to buy a new one when you could be saving that cash for your travels!
  • Getting yourself connected in Australia – There are a number of mobile networks available in Australia but if I’m honest the best network you can go for is Telstra due to it having the most coverage in remote areas and for it being very reasonably priced for a pay as you service. The sim costs as little as $2 and you can often pick up pay-as-you-go deals for as little as $30 per month which gives you unlimited Australian calls, a certain number of international calls and between 3-6GB of data. You will struggle to find a better deal, but if you do please give us a shout 

Copies of Important Stuff – better to be safe than sorry

You cannot predict what may happen on your travels so it is best to cautious and prepared for any eventualities that may require you to present, for example, your passport or visa details.

  • Hard copies – print a couple of sets of your important documents including: passport; visa; insurance documents; driving license etc. Leave one copy at home with a relative or friend, and take a set with you remembering to secure it somewhere safely in your luggage.
  • Electronic copies – Electronically storing documents can also be really useful. By uploading copies of your documents to a cloud based storage system, or having them available in your emails will guarantee that you will be able to access this no matter what happens along your travels.

Managing Financial Affairs before you Travel

Yes perhaps a dull topic – but an important one to save you getting stung! Depending on your personal circumstances you may have regular payments or direct debits from your current account for example rent, phone contract, bills, car tax and so on. Simply:

  • make a list of your providers
  • find out end dates for contracts
  • find out details of final payments or payments to end contracts

Being organised will prevent you from paying for something you are not even using when you finally leave on that jet plane. The other key thing is to ensure you make your bank aware that you are leaving so that you don’t come into problems with your cards being blocked when you are trying to use them the other side of the world!

The Cost of Living (and Travelling) in Australia

Let’s face it, travelling can be expensive and Australia is one of the more expensive parts of this world to travel in.

If you are entering Australia on a working holiday visa, the financial requirements set out by the Department of Immigration are a pretty good indication of how much money you will need to get started in Australia. According to visa requirements, you need to have proof of funds equal to AU $5,000 (at least in theory). This proof rarely has to be produced and you could probably get away with entering the country with less in the bank, but it’s a good financial safeguard to have. No one ever said “I wish I didn’t have those savings”, even if they turn out to be unnecessary. 

Before you set off, you need to set yourself a realistic budget. Here’s how to budget for travel, step by step:
  1. How much money do you have? List all your savings and incomes that will continue coming in while you’re in Australia. Even if you’re planning on getting a job, you’ll need something to get you started and tide you over while you search and apply for work.
  2. How much money will you need? Well, how long is a piece of string? Obviously, the amount of money you will need depends on where you will be, what you want to do and how much luxury you plan to live in. At the very least, factor in…
  • The cost of your chosen mode of Transport.  For example, flights or buying a car (plus fuel) or unlimited travel rail/bus pass.
  • Food at a minimum of $10 per day (more if you’re eating out.)
  • Accommodation at an average of $30 per day (staying in dorms at hostels.)

Add to that the cost of tours and extras like alcohol (which is very expensive in Australia) and you’re talking a bare minimum spend of $100/day.

  1. How much can you earn? The Australian job market is pretty good, but you have to be realistic about your job prospects. Don’t expect to find a job straight off the plane and plan accordingly. If you’re willing to do anything and go anywhere in Australia, you’ll almost certainly find good, well-paid work, but it might take a while. Read our work tips here.
  2. How much can you borrow? We’re not huge fans of living off other people’s money and prefer to earn everything we spend. However, when you’re in the middle of the trip of the lifetime, you don’t want to cut yourself short. After all, it’s only money and you’ll be back to earning soon enough. You don’t want to look back on your time in Australia filled with regret about the things you didn’t do. On the other hand, you don’t want to return saddled with insurmountable debt.  

To make that dollar last as long as possible, check our money saving tips.

Transport – Planes, Trains and Automobiles!

Planning your travel early can save you heaps of money and will also give you an ultimate date to work towards getting everything else prepared for your travel experience.

The most hefty cost will come with flights. It’s certainly worth spending a bit of time researching and also deciding on whether you wish to have a few days stopover somewhere along the way to break up the long journey. Search engines like sky scanner can be useful to start your research but then it’s always worth looking directly with the airline. As well as considering possible stopover locations it’s also worth thinking logistically about timings e.g. If you decide to opt to fly straight to Australia make sure your travel time doesn’t have a 9 hour layover in a random airport, unless of course you fancy trying to relax in an airport for a few hours – but let’s be honest the beaches that await you are better for chilling!

Beyond your flight is just taking a bit of time to consider connecting transport either side of the airports! This perhaps doesn’t require so much fore planning but it’s something you should have on the list as it will not only save you precious funds but could also save you stress when landing the other side of the world jet lagged and trying to work out how to get to your chosen accommodation!

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Make sure you have a valid passport well in advance of travel. Your passport is often required for booking transport and visa applications. If you know you need to renew your passport it is best to do this in advance of applying for your visa or booking your travel, otherwise you will have to go through the hassle of updating each of these things prior to travelling. Have a look into your country of residences’ passport office regulations and criteria for applying. Many passport offices will allow you to renew up to 9 months in advance of the end date and add any remaining months onto your new passport. Be prepared to see the world!!!

Visa Application

Every person entering Australia is required to have a visa even if you are only passing through. There are a large number of visa types and which one you opt for is dependent on your individual circumstances. But for the purpose of this blog let’s say this is your first time entering Australia. The most common visas applied for are either the visitor visa or working holiday visa. The visitor visa simply allows you to stay and travel Australia for a certain time period. Alternatively the working holiday visa allows you to stay and work in Australia for a period of up to 12 months. You may be entitled to this visa if you: are at least 18 years old and not yet 31; do not have a dependent child travelling with you at any point during your stay; and you hold a passport from an eligible country.

My advice would be that you apply directly to the Australian Government for your visa – the benefits of this are numerous:

  • you will not have to pay administration fees for an agency to apply on your behalf (and to be honest they just enter the information that you have to supply them with onto the online form)
  • you will have complete control over your Immi account and therefore continued access to it for any future applications
  • you will be able to supply any additional information more quickly should it be requested.

The online process is very straightforward and requires you to submit personal information and answer a series of questions related to your circumstances. In general and in speaking with many other travellers en route the time period for having your visa granted can be as little as 48 hours, however we do highly recommend that once you have a flight date and are certain of your arrival date to Australia that you make your visa application.

Travel Insurance

travel insurance

Having good travel insurance is hugely advisable so you have the peace of mind that you can get help for any mishaps along the way. This can include aspects such as personal electronic devices, emergency health care, outdoor activities, cancellations of travel and so on. When shopping around for insurance it’s important to consider the following:

  • What aspects you wish to be covered for e.g. gadget insurance is often an add on option.
  • How much excess you will be required to pay should you need to use your cover.
  • If you are taking part in adventurous activities make sure you read the small print of the policy documents to ensure that you will be covered. Some of the more extreme sports may require additional levels of cover.

It is certainly worth spending some time researching different insurance companies to find the best cover for you. We have given a couple of starting points below.

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